Let's get started shall we...
- CORE Autosport will become the official factory Porsche team. No surprise there, John Bennett has spent big to impress Porsche (securing a new tub after the accident at Baltimore) and has a first class race shop in NASCAR country.
- Falken Tires is likely to be the only other team to get a 991 series Porsche 911 GT3-RSR currently only running in WEC with Manthey. That means....
- Paul Miller Racing may drop out of GTLM and into GT-D with another manufacturer. You'll notice on their website that they are also Audi and Bentley dealers. PMR says they have talked to both companies about a GT-D program and I know Bentley desperately wants to race in USCC next season. This is because they are not likely to get one of the limited supply of Porsche 991 based GT3-RSR race cars next year.
- Muehlner Motorsports America is said to have ordered a Porsche 911 Cup "America" from Porsche Motorsports North America. As I have said before this is a bad decision, but its based on their business model so no-shock there. When they are not as fast as the FIA GT3 based cars, they'll be looking for help from IMSA....
- Park Place Motorsports also is said to have ordered a car, despite the likelihood of losing Pat Long to the Core Autosport program.
But wait there's more -
JDX, Flying Lizard and Alex Job are also close to confirming Porsche America efforts. That puts about half of the current GTC paddock in Porsches. Out of the regular runners, that leaves NGT/Momo and Dempsey yet to confirm their plans for 2014.
That is leading to some consternation over in Europe that P2 teams might not be invited to Daytona/Sebring season opening races. Given what I just said you can understand because it looks like GT-D will be at capacity or over-capacity.
If we go with current combined numbers as stated here that's about 20 cars expected for the entire season not just the NEC (North American Endurance Championship).
- Alex Job, two cars (2)
- Flying Lizard, two cars (2)
- Muehlner, one car full season (1)
- JDX, one car (1)
- Park Place, one car (1)
I think its safe to assume that half the twenty car field will be Porsche 911 GT3 Americas.
The only non-Porsches seem to be those who currently don't own one. Out of all Rolex GT teams, that leaves Magnus Racing yet to confirm staying with Porsche. As mention, NGT/Momo and Dempsey are yet to say anything.
As far a I know Fall-Line will be in the series and appear to be the only two car Audi effort in GT-D next season. It also looks like the Ferrari teams will continue, but Mike Hedlund who drives for JDX in the ALMS and the Extremespeed Ferrari of the now defunct Grand Am series has expressed disappointment in the rumor that GT-D (and LMPC) will be slowed down from its current pace in the ALMS.
We'll know more as the official series testing will get underway in Nov, but I guess Elkins is assuming that even with the changes to the DP's, the P2's will have to be slowed down as well and since LMPC's with a pro driver are only about 2 seconds off P2 pace and already faster than DP's, they need to be slowed down.
I guess its more about allowing GTLM cars to pass slower LMPC cars easier and all the cars to pass GT-D easier.
I just don't understand it myself. I am going to assume that DP's will be able to get back some of the 5-6 seconds in pace they lack currently. But that might included slowing P2's down a bit with to gain that final 1-2 seconds.
I don't see how you can do that and leave GTLM alone, slow down LMPC and GT-D as well. I guess since all the GTLM are factory ran or blessed, I guess it would prove more politically unpopular to slow them down just for TUSCC competition and have to reconfigure the cars for Le Mans.
This is horrible PR move here if they slow down the Pro Am classes. Fans get excited about competitive teams, great racing and track records. If you're constantly dumbing it down to the lowest common denominator its going to offend quite a few fans from the ALMS side of things including me.